Helpful Tips For Deciding Between Open And Closed Headphones

Tech-loving website Tested breaks down the two basic headphone types — closed and open — and offers tips on choosing the type that best fits your needs.

In an age when you can carry your entire music library in your pocket, a good pair of headphones is a must. As Tested puts it, the main issues to consider when choosing between the two headphone types are pretty basic:

Closed headphones isolate you from outside sounds (potentially good), but the closed nature often results in distortion or poor sound quality. Conversely, open headphones let sound and air flow through the headphones; this is generally better for the sound, but it doesn't isolate you from outside noises. It also means the outside world can sometimes hear what's going on in your headphones.

So how do you decide what's right for you? At the end of the day it's a subjective decision, but the folks at Tested had this to say:

What it comes down to is a matter of quality and environment. If you're looking for the best sounding headphones with the ultimate in quality, an open model design will probably do you best. However, if you're concerned about sound leakage or other distractions, closed may be the better choice. The only way you can truly decide is to try them out yourself, and see which you prefer.

Let's hear what kind of cans you prefer in the comments. Photo by Andres Rueda.

The Difference Between Open and Closed Headphones [Tested]


    I thought a lot about this as well, but ended up going open, the sound quality is very good, however they can be a bit annoying if I'm on the train.

      Annoying for you? Or for the person next to you?

    Where does one get Turtlebeach headphones in Australia? Any ideas?

    One of each - a pair of Etymotic ER-6i's for commuting & office use and a pair of open Sennheisers for use at home.

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